Kuroo Hazama, also known as "Black Jack," is a legend in the medical world. Famous for being one of the best, as well as not having a license, Hazama and his assistant Pinoko save countless lives that other doctors cannot... for a price; an exorbitant price, in fact, which causes many to view the genius as greedy and heartless. Despite these claims, however, none can deny his skill and the lengths that he will go to treat his patients. This dark medical drama tells the story of the ominous and mysterious world of underground medicine as Black Jack risks his life to cure some of the most bizarre diseases imaginable, even if it means breaking every law in the process.
#1: "Just Before Sunrise" by Rhodes (eps 1-3, 11-12) #2: "Kioku no Kimi e (To You in My Memory)" by Another Moon (eps 4-5) #3: "Moon Shadow" by The Orange Vox (ep 6) #4: "Rebirth" by Kudo Eiko (eps 7-10)
#1: "I'll Be Back Again --- Moonlight" by Rhodes (eps 1-3, 11-12) #2: "Kono omoi tsutaerareru (I Thought I Could Convey This Feeling...)" by Another Moon (eps 4-5) #3: "Black Jack" by The Orange Vox (ep 6) #4: "HOPE --- Not to be defeated, not to cry, and not to be daunted" by Kudo Eiko (eps 7-10)
I enjoy shows about doctors and their stories about how they help heal the sick and injured, so when I came across a show called "Black Jack", I was intrigued. After reading the description, the show seemed too dark for me, so I was a little nervous to watch it. I'm sure glad I did end up watching it, because this turned out to be one of my favorite anime out there. I especially loved how the episodes were an hour each, giving more time for plot development and drama in each episode. The accuracy of the medical information is incredible and the stories of the
patients were amazing. I've watched the episodes over and over again and I still love them. Each episode is completely different from the last making you unaware of what will happen next. Some stories I wish ended differently, but they were still outstanding. It was a pleasure to watch.
The story follows Black Jack tackling many cases. Each episode follows a different case.
So, unlike the Black Jack TV show that came out in the 2000s, this "Black Jack" series is much darker. It is not family friendly.
For a 90s anime, the art is outstanding. It's got that neo-noir kind of feel. They had a lot of OVAs that came out in the 90s, then they stopped for a bit, I believe. And they resumed in 2011, and they pretty much kept the same art style. I'm amazed that after all those years, they managed to keep the same art style and modernize
it! So, the art is amazing and I really respect them for being able to keep the same art style while also modernizing it!
The series has four openings and four endings: Just Before Sunrise by Rhodes, Kioku no Kimi eby Another Moon, Moon Shadow by The Orange Vox, Rebirth by Kudo Eiko (openings); I'll Be Back Again --- Moonlight by Rhodes, Kono omoi tsutaerareru (I Thought I Could Convey This Feeling...) by Another Moon, Black Jack by The Orange Vox, HOPE --- Not to be defeated, not to cry, and not to be daunted by Kudo Eiko (endings).
I really like how they changed up the openings and endings depending on the episode. The reason I gave it a 9 out of 10 is because I thought ending 1 wasn't the greatest ending because it's pretty much a rock song and all their openings are pretty much rock songs, and at the end of each case, it's sad so I thought the best ending would be a mellow song and ending 1 wasn't a mellow song. But overall, the soundtrack is just great.
So, if some people recall my review of the Black Jack TV show in the 2000s, I said that a bit of an issue was that the TV show didn't really go in-depth on their patients. Well, in the OVA, this issue is fixed. Not only do they go in-depth on how Black Jack views his patients, but they also go in-depth on the patient's past. We also see Black Jack interact more with his patients and grow a bit closer to them even. Also, Pinoco does not follow Black Jack in the OVA series, but in the appearances she made, they are good. I honestly prefer Black Jack alone rather than with Pinoco (Pinoco always follows Black Jack in the TV series).
I honestly couldn't really find flaws with the OVA series. Everything is just good and the show keeps me intrigued and I feel some sense of sadness out of each case. I mean, this is a dark OVA, so it's suppose to make you a bit sad at times. But, I overall really enjoyed this OVA series.
To me, this series is just perfect in so many ways. I really can't find a flaw. So now people may ask, which one should I watch: The OVA series or the TV show? Honestly, watch both! They're both really good, they just have a different tones. If you're looking for something really dark and edgy, then watch the OVA series. If you're looking for something fun, watch the TV series. But, honestly, I recommend both. To me, the OVA series was a bit better, but it honestly comes close 'cause I also really like the TV series. But, I really recommend both.
Thanks for reading. Let me know your thoughts on this review and any feedback you may have for me. Until next time!
Possibly the best introduction to Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack. This OVA series features a more mature & darker tone than its other anime counterparts. The focus of this version is Black Jack's character as he is portrayed more mysterious here especially when Pinoko is hardly around.
Black Jack is known as the surgeon with the hands of god as he can accomplish difficult feats in medical science. The appeal of this doctor is his lack of a license therefore asking for huge sums of money & often dealing with shady customers such as mafia & the like. While his motivations can be unclear at first,
it all comes full circle once the operation proceeds. This character best represents Tezuka's own beliefs & background as he did study for medical practice. Each episode is own tale ranging from medical epidemics, environmental issues, the consequences of war & the study of human emotions. Most tales are quite tragic questioning whether things were meant to be or could we learn from our past mistakes.
While the original manga was more humorous & kid friendly such as Black Jack Tv, this OVA places emphasis on a seinen tone where nothing is sugar coated to hide the dark truths of society. Tezuka has always believed that life & peace are sacred, & Black Jack is the closest to a representation of those beliefs. While the world can be gray, there's always a shred of humanity that endures the struggle to eventually find solace on this Earth.
Episodes can be hit or miss (definitely ep 6 & 3 was a bit out of place for me) but pull through & you'll see Tezuka's skills as a writer. Also Black Jack Final(eps 11 &12) are 2 recently made episodes from 2011 being the lastly made Black Jack material thus far. If you enjoyed this series then I highly recommend the following:
Black Jack The Movie (1996)
Black Jack The Two Doctors of Darkness
Black Jack TV
Black Jack 21
Black Jack is an iconic figure in Japan. The original manga was created by Osamu Tezuka, creator of Pheonix, Buddha and Astro boy. Tezuka was often called the god of manga, or Japans Walt Disney, and he derserved these titles. After all, Tezuka's creation of the sci fi Manga epic "Metropolis" is what convinced Japan that comic books could be just as mature an artform as novels.
So when Osamu Dezaki (Who had worked under Tezuka) was asked to direct the new Black Jack series, he had a daunting task ahead of him. Osamu Dezaki decided, quite wisely, too create his own
version of Black Jack. One less cartoony and more serious than the Manga, while staying true to the original. Comparing this version of black Jack with the original Manga, is like comparing Batman Begins to Tim Burtons Batman. There both great interpretations of the charachter, but there so different there's no use trying.
Black Jack tells the story of a brillaint , but horribly scarred surgeon, who works outside of the law. As long as you pay him enough, he'll perform seemingly impossible surgical procedures. The surgeons name is BlackJack.
Don't worry if your not into medical drama's, Black Jack has enough weird diseases, and good drama to keep anyone entertained. Infact, alot of the best episodes are not about medical operations, but charachter interactions and interesting stories, which is what makes the show so interesting. One of my favourite episodes is not about a medical procedure, but a civil war in a south American country. There are a few charachters I don't like, for instance Pinoko, Black Jacks irritating sidekick, but for the most the chaachters are fleshed out enough for you to like them.
The soundtrack has a great 80's feel to it, especially the many opening themes. The dub and original are both great, though both very different. The biggest difference is Black Jack's VA, who sounds quite old and stern in the original, but young and calm in the English Dub. Not sure which I preffered.
There's alot to like in this show. The charachters are all very interesting, lots of dramatic scenes, and the fact that each episode is an hour long gives everyone's charachter time to develop. Great voice acting. Nice animation style, not ussually seen in anime. Alot of episodes are very grand in scope, and this show actually got me interested in medical stories and dramas.
Slow pace in some areas. Never really strays from the formula. Endings sometimes feel rushed. Pinoko Wasn't needed.
This is really one of my all time favourite anime. Osamu Dezaki did a good job of updating Black Jack for a new audience while staying true to the source material. I can't reccomend this series enough.
I'm glad that they released this series on two boxsets rather than individual volumes. Also, the dvd's are regionless, so it works on any dvd player.
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